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Before installing Windows 7, I had been using SyncToy to sync all my vital files to a backup external hard drive. Windows 7 has a built in backup utility though and I was wondering if maybe I should use that.

Does Windows 7 Backup offer any advantages over using SyncToy?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

I was doing the exact same thing. I did also try Windows 7 Backup. The difference is that SyncToy (and its close relative SyncBack) store the files in exactly the same structure that you see on your computer. You can easily understand and copy the backed up files.

Windows 7 backup has a nice interface, and I think will let you do a full system restore from the backup location. However it seems to store the backed up files in a strange mess of folders and directories.

I would summarize as follows:

  • Synctoy/Syncback for file backup
  • Windows 7 Backup for system restoration
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Win 7 backup is more of a backup solution than a synchronization solution. It allows you to select files and settings and then it backs them up to a single file that can be restored later. It also can store incremental backups, and I believe you can have multiple points in time in a single backup. If you are looking for a backup solution, then it is good. SyncToy is more of a synchronization tool, that makes folder a match folder b.

If you want to access your files from both locations, SyncToy. If you want quick restoration of a system, then I would use Backup.

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